Whether you use your garage to store a classic car, your extensive tool collection or the family valuables, you want to keep everything safe and secure. We’re going to look at 20 of the best ways to do it, so you can sleep soundly at night.
1. It sounds too simple but keep your garage doors shut. Don’t give an opportunist thief a good view of your tools or expensive camping gear when you’re tidying up the garden or washing the car. Keep things out of sight whenever you can.
2. Is your old garage door up to the job? If your timber door is warped, cracked and rotting out, it won’t take much to break into. The same goes for old steel garage doors that can be peeled open like a sardine can. If you’re storing valuable items, invest in a solid garage door.
3. Garage door bolts add extra security and locking power for your up-and-over garage door. They attach directly to the inside of the door at either edge and shoot a bolt directly into the frame. You need to be handy with a drill to install it, but it’s an excellent security addition. It can even replace a broken garage door lock if you need it.
4. A “T Bar” style garage door defender is perfect for securing up-and-over garage doors. It works by creating a removable physical barrier in front of the door, so it’s impossible to open wide enough to get inside. You need to sink some heavy-duty bolts into the ground in front of your garage, but it’s not a massive job to add a lot of extra security.
5. Motion activated lights on the outside of your garage perform two useful functions- they’ll put off would-be thieves who want to work under the cover of darkness, and help you get into your garage late at night.
6. Remote control door locks are a high tech and high security addition to your garage door. You install the electric lock on the inside and control steel bolts from anywhere in range of the remote control. The biggest security benefit is that there is no exposed keyhole to pick or drill put. Just don’t lose the key!
7. Check that your powered garage door can’t be picked with a bent coat hanger- thieves learned long ago that you can wedge a garage door open at the top and release the manual catch with a bit of wire. If your powered garage door has a manual release pull cord, cut it off and it can’t be snagged from outside.
8. If your garage door hinges are held on with regular screws, they’re vulnerable to thieves armed with a simple screwdriver. Replace them with clutch head screws. These security fixings are designed to go in but not come out again without specialist tools. Make sure you drill a pilot hole first and drive them in slowly for the best fit.
9. Invest in your very own CCTV surveillance system. Modern units can see in the dark, transmit the footage directly to your mobile phone and even have loudspeakers for telling people they’re being watched.
10. For a good deterrent on a budget, you can install dummy security cameras that come complete with blinking lights to fool burglars into thinking they’re being recorded.
11. If you want to secure high value items inside your garage, we recommend using ground anchors. Bolt down or concrete in a hardened steel plate that can then secure a motorbike, expensive tools or a trailer with a heavy chain.
12. If your garage has a window, you’re advertising the contents to any opportunist thief who wants to help themselves to your stuff. For a quick fix, staple some netting around the window frame to obscure what you’ve got inside. For a more professional finish, get hold of one-way window film that sticks to the inside of the window and prevents anyone from peeping in.
13. The traditional way of securing a castle door was with great beams of wood placed across them. The same idea works for garage door locking bars. You fit a pair of brackets on either side of your garage door and use a long piece of steel to stop it from opening outwards.
14. If you want to secure your garage door from the inside without spending much money, you can drill a hole in the rail that the opening mechanism slides along and secure it with a padlock or even a nut and bolt.
15. Get hold of a motion detector alarm that uses passive infrared technology to keep thieves at bay. You can plug it into the mains or run it on battery power for off-grid garages, and even link the remote control to another alarm system for full security coverage.
16. A simple way to secure valuable wheeled items in your garage such as air compressors, bicycles and lawnmowers is to group them together with a long length of chain. It’s easy to install and makes them all much harder to roll away. You could secure one end of the chain to a ground anchor for added security.
17. If you’ve got large bushes or trees around your garage, someone could take their time breaking in, knowing that they can’t be seen. Don’t give them the opportunity by trimming back foliage regularly.
18. Integrated garages are brilliant because you can go from your home to your car without having to brave the elements. A weakness of these garages is the door that connects to the rest of your home. Make sure that if a burglar gets into your garage, they can’t then get into the rest of the house. Invest in a solid core door and make sure you keep it locked.
19. For added peace of mind when it comes to your expensive tools, you can invest in what’s known as a van vault. It’s basically a steel box with a lockable lid and four holes drilled into the base, so you can fix it into your concrete floor. Even if someone can get into your garage, they won’t be able to get their hands on your most valuable items.
20. The last resort in garage security, but the first thing you should do is mark your property. The police recommend forensic marking your most valued possessions with UV ink or stamping your name and postcode into them. Even just painting your name on your tools is a good way to reduce the chance of someone reselling it.
Garage security is something you need to tackle whether you’re a keen DIYer or a complete novice. Even if you follow just one of our practical tips, it’ll help to keep your things safe and your mind at ease.